Sing Books with Emily, the Blog

The Emperor’s Rhyme, a singable poem by A. A. Milne (set to music by Mr. Fraser-Simson)

Posted on: November 23, 2012

My son and I read A. A. Milne’s poem “The Emperor’s Rhyme” this morning and found ourselves quite charmed by it.  I went searching for music (and found some)!

Introducing, the Emperor (aka The King of Peru):

From Now We Are Six, The Emperor’s Rhyme:

**********************

THE EMPEROR’S RHYME
Poem by A. A. Milne
Musical Setting by Harold Fraser-Simson

The King of Peru
(Who was Emperor too)
Had a sort of a rhyme
Which was useful to know,
If he felt very shy
When a stranger came by,
Or they asked him the time
When his watch didn’t go;
or supposing he fell
(By mistake) down the well,
Or he tumbled when skating
And sat on his hat,
Or perhaps wasn’t told,
Till his porridge was cold,
That his breakfast was waiting –
Or something like that;
Oh, whenever the Emperor
got into a temper, or
Felt himself sulky or sad,
He would murmur and murmur,
Until he felt firmer,
This curious rhyme which he had:

Eight eights are sixty-four;
Multiply by seven.
When it’s done,
Carry one,
And take away Eleven.
Nine nines are eighty-one;
Multiply by three.
If it’s more,
Carry four,
And then it’s time for tea.”

So whenever the Queen
Took his armour to clean,
And didn’t remember
To use any starch;
Or his birthday (in May)
Was a Horrible day,
Being wet as November
And windy as March;
Or, if sitting in state
With the Wise and the Great
He happened to hiccup
While signing his name,
Or The Queen gave a cough,
When his crown tumbled off
As he bent down to pick up
A pen for the same;

Oh, whenever the Emperor
Got into a temper, or
Felt himself awkward or shy,
He would whisper and whisper,
Until he felt crisper,
This odd little rhyme to the sky.

“Eight eights are sixty-four;
Multiply by seven.
When it’s done,
Carry one,
And take away Eleven.
Nine nines are eighty-one;
Multiply by three.
If it’s more,
Carry four,
And then it’s time for tea.”

**********************

*
Hear a clip of the musical Setting by Harold Fraser-Simson, here:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0011OTYIS/ref=dm_dp_trk24

**********************

Charming illustrations by E. H. Shepard

*
Page 1 of the poem:

*
Page 2 of the poem

**********************

*

Now We Are Six

Poems by A. A. Milne
Illustrated by E. H. Shepard

**********************
Related Posts

*
The World of A.A. Milne in Singable Picture Books (or, the Singable Picture Books of A. A. Milne)
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2010/05/04/a-few-favorite-singable-books-the-world-of-a-a-milne/

*
POETRY SINGABLE POETRY IN COMPILATIONS

An list of  singable poems from compilations of poetry for children
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2011/04/17/singable-poetry-a-list-of-poems-that-can-be-sung-from-illustrated-compilations-of-poetry-and-singable-picture-books/

*
POETRY, SINGABLE POETRY IN INDIVIDUALLY ILLUSTRATED SINGABLE PICTURE BOOKS
A list of individually illustrated poems that have been set to music and can be sung
https://singbookswithemily.wordpress.com/2012/04/20/poems-individually-illustrated-spb/

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